Pismo Beach man with uncontrollable hunger takes plea deal

November 11, 2015
Michelle Christian with her son Tyler and her daughter.

Michelle Christian with her son Tyler and her daughter.

A 20-year-old Pismo Beach man with a rare genetic disease has pleaded no contest to five misdemeanor charges resulting from times he broke into homes to satisfy his uncontrollable hunger.

Tyler Jarvis has Prader-Willi Syndrome, which causes an insatiable desire to eat. In 2014, Jarvis entered two homes and stole food and personal belongings.

He also attempted unsuccessfully to enter a third residence. On one occasion, a startled homeowner chased him with a shovel, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.

On Tuesday, Jarvis agreed to a plea deal that will likely keep him out of jail. He must enter a group home and complete a treatment program for people with Prader Willi in order to avoid serving jail time.

Jarvis’ sentence also includes three years of probation, and he must pay restitution to all three of his victims.

The break-ins took place on Sept. 26, 2014 and Nov. 18, 2014. For the September 2014 incidents, Jarvis pleaded no contest to trespass, petty theft and attempted trespass. He pleaded no contest to petty theft and aggravated trespass for the Nov 2014 incidents.

Prosecutors dismissed charges of residential burglary, attempted burglary and vandalism. Jarvis initially faced multiple felony counts for residential burglaries.

Following the plea deal, District Attorney Dan Dow issued a statement commending the agreement.

“We were very concerned with both the safety of the community from the crime of residential burglary as well as finding an appropriate resolution that takes into a account Mr. Jarvis’ genetic disorder that directly contributed to his criminal conduct,” Dow said. “This is an extremely rare fact pattern, and I am pleased that we were able to achieve an opportunity for Mr. Jarvis to enter a group home.”

Prior to the plea agreement, Michelle Christian, Jarvis’s mother, lobbied for prosecutors to drop the charges. Christian argued her son was not a criminal, and the district attorney’s office was wasting taxpayer money by prosecuting the case.

Jarvis is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 17 in the courtroom of Judge Michael Duffy.

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Tyler will be appearing on Monday’s episode of “The Doctors”: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article45765355.html